THE DESERT OF LOVE by Francois Mauriac


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One of the earlier novels (1925), in the particular genre of the roman d'analyse for which Mauriac is most famous, this traces with acrupulous care and concern the emotional torment of a father and a son and the woman they both loved. For Dr. Courreges sees that his love for Maria Cross, the mistress of another man, is concealed by his attentions to her as a patient, and is thoroughly frustrated by the admiration and respect she accords him as her ""spiritual director"". And Raymond, his son, eighteen, emerges from a sullen, surly adolescence, shy and self-deprecating, to a first contact with a woman in Maria who flirts with him, then rebuffs him- ashamed of corrupting his innocence. And while his father carries on the bitter memory of his love into his old age, Raymond exacts a revenge for his first defeat on the many women he is to have- in anger rather than in love.... A diagram of desire and expiation which is precise and subtle, which carries none of the Catholic imprint of so many of the Mauriac novels, and which will appeal to his audience- limited on this side.

Publisher: Pellegrini & Cudahy